When you say ``OCR`` it means optical character recognition which actually for most of us is similar with copying a text from a ( paper ) page and convert it on our computer in a different popular format such as .doc .txt .pdf and so on. If you want to know more, read my article which is based on my experience and see if this can help you especially when you want to buy an ocr software. Also, I learned that there is no free alternative when you`re talking about ocr programs, okay maybe right now when I am writing this article, someone will invent a free ocr software and it will be a great alternative to any other paid ocr software but I am talking about the best software that money can buy.
A little history
In 2003, suddenly I was forced to scan a lot of pages. Before that, back then in 2000-2002 I was actually typing everything by hand which obviously was not very funny but at least I was a young enthusiast and when I was copying something, I was listening some music and there I was, typing everything by hand. Since typing everything by hand was not that funny, after a couple of years I started to think at something that could help me. After searching on the Internet for a program that would allow me to copy a text from a book, a paper etc. I realized that before doing that, I need a scanner. Interesting as the scanner would cost me some money, the program would also cost me something and I didn`t wanted to make a bad investment in something that would not work. After my research, I finally purchased a Canon scanner. It was an Canon model, I don`t remember which version but I know that allowed me to scan one page at a time ( I have found a picture and it looked exactly like this one ). Now I was looking for an OCR software.
Testing a couple of OCR programs in 2003
The scanner was on my desktop but I needed a good program. Maybe it was my fault, maybe I wasn`t that good at searching things on the Internet but finally I was able to learn about OmniPage and Readiris. Once that I downloaded the trial versions ( were fully functional ) I started to test a lot of pages. Pages with tables, pages without tables, with graphics, without graphics, new pages from books, copy of pages and everything else that I needed. In some cases the results were extremely poor and sometimes only a couple of words were not being recognized so the results were excellent. I decided to use OmniPage and from 2003 until 2005 I used a couple of OmniPage versions. I would like to say that there are other programs that are actually using the engines of other well known programs so it`s useless to mention them here.
Trying something else
As I said, I`ve been using OmniPage for 2 years. It really helped me since I was typing everything by hand. I also started to think that I could find something better than OmniPage. When I say better, I am not thinking at the speed. For me, the speed is not something important. When you`re working with ocr programs you are mostly interested in the accuracy that you get. It doesn`t count if I am waiting 1 minute if the other program will get the job done in 2 or even 3 minutes but with a better accuracy - 20-30 % higher. That`s exactly what I wanted, I wanted a better, an improved accuracy. In 2005 I did a new search and obviously I tried the new versions of OmniPage, Readiris and the new program that I discovered - Abbyy FineReader.
My first impression after 2 years
After I tested OmniPage and ReadIris I said that I should finally test Abbyy FineReader. I was amazed by the accuracy of Abbyy FineReader, it was finally something that could really help me a lot. When your working with hundreds or even thousands of pages 20-30 % it`s huge. It will save you a lot of time and not to mention the frustration that comes with each page that doesn`t come out the way you want. I would like to say that I never looked back since the day I discovered Abbyy FineReader and the most important thing, each new version of Abbyy FineReader was really better, you could see with your own eyes that something really changed and the program was improved. For me, Abbyy was the king of OCR since 2005 until 2010.
What a good scanner could do for you - amazing.
Since I wanted some speed I started to do a new research ( my third one ) for a faster scanner that would allow me to scan more pages and to keep the same accuracy results. Imagine that since 2003 and until 2010 I was scanning one page at a time. Everything changed ( again ) when I discovered Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 ( I guess this is the model ) and when I read that it comes with Abbyy FineReader ( it was actually a version that was made especially for this scanner ) and it is able to process 20 pages ( color ) per minute and it can hold 50-pages. I said that I really need to buy this and see this with my own eyes. I purchased this scanner and I was counting the days. Once I got it, I installed everything and started a couple of tests. It was simply amazing, I was looking at something that I couldn`t imagine back in 2000. YouTube is full of videos that will show you what Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 can do for you. I am also sure that this is only the begining and there will be future versions with an improved accuracy and even faster than this one ( actually there are faster models but they are way too expensive for the average user, I am talking about a scanner that almost anyone could afford ). Actually this scanner combined with the OCR technology coming from Abbyy made my life 40-50 faster whenever I needed to scan hundreds of pages. I am not a liar and I am not advertising those 2 products, if you can find something better than those, my advice is to go ahead and buy it/them. Otherwise, download Abbyy FineReader and try it. This worked for me and really improved my life.
The best OCR software
For me, Abbyy FineReader is the best OCR software because of the accuracy that it offers. I am sure that the speed is similar to OmniPage and Readiris but I`ve tried them for years and this program simply surpassed them in my own tests ( regarding the accuracy ). I discovered the benefits of OCR technology in 2003 and I am not a new Internet user. I already know when a program does his job and when it`s time to move on. If I will get dissapointed by Abbyy FineReader I will try again OmniPage, Readiris and even other solutions but until then I can only say that for me, right now, the best OCR software is Abbyy FineReader.Tweet